Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Shakespeare’s Scribe

Shakespeare’s Scribe

Gary L. Blackwood
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 to and up
Penguin, 2002   ISBN: 978-0142300664

London is no longer safe for anyone because the plague has arrived and as the dreaded disease stalks the streets the Queen’s officials announce that all the theatres must close their doors. It is decided that the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the acting group that Widge belongs to, is going to leave London to try its luck travelling around the country. It is risky for there is no guarantee that the group will be able to make much money but they all feel that it is better than sitting in London waiting for the plague to run its course.

Travelling on the rutted, muddy roads is miserable and often the Lord Chamberlain’s Men are turned away by townsfolk who fear that the actors may be bringing the plague with them. In addition to his acting duties, Widge also helps Mr. Shakespeare by writing out the playwright’s newest work for him. When the group arrives in Widge’s old hometown Widge meets a man who turns out to have the most amazing news the boy has heard in a long time. The question is, is the stranger telling the truth and can Widge trust him?

This sequel to the highly acclaimed "Shakespeare Stealer" is just as interesting and gripping as the first story in this series was. Widge struggles with his insecurities, worries about his future, and wonders about his past. One cannot help hoping that Widge is going to find the answers to his questions and that he is somehow, somewhere, going find out who he is.

This book is beautifully written and the author excels in using stunning imagery and language to great effect. Readers who enjoy historical fiction and mysteries will find this book hard to put down.